Unifor members working at General Motors facilities in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock, Ontario ratified an agreement that secures investment in all three communities, converts 700 precarious jobs and offers wage improvements.
“The gains made in this agreement are historic and more than what has been achieved in the past ten years. Unifor has shown what is possible when workers have a union, and a united bargaining committee to speak on their behalf,” said Unifor national president Jerry Dias.
The new agreement was ratified by 64.7 percent overall from all three locals. The breakdown is 66.5 percent from members in production and 56.5 percent by skilled trades.
The ratified deal with GM sets the pattern for contract talks that begin with Fiat-Chrysler Automotives on Monday. Once a deal with FCA is ratified, negotiations will begin with Ford.
“I am proud to say today that we have secured a bright future, one that includes good full-time jobs with benefits and wage increases for future generations, and a solid economic base for our communities and all our members,” said the Unifor-GM master bargaining committee chair, Greg Moffat of Local 222.
The new agreement with 4,000 Unifor members in Oshawa, St. Catharines and Woodstock includes:
$554 million in investment in Canada that provides job security with new product for Oshawa as it begins to produce cars and trucks, stability to St. Catharines as volume is shifted to the plant and improvements at the parts distribution centre in Woodstock.
Conversion of 700 temporary positions to permanent full-time job status including benefits, a pension, a signing bonus, a $1,000 lump sum increase and wage progression.
General wage increases totaling 4% over the life of the contract and a lump sum totaling $12,000 over four years.
A signing bonus of $6,000.
An improved new hire program that provides thousands of dollars of new money in income earnings.
“In the negotiations with GM, the union set clear objectives which we reached, including our top priority to secure investment and product for our members and the future of the auto industry,” Dias said. “With Fiat-Chrysler and Ford we will accept nothing less.”